Apply online for free, reduced-price meals

8/6/2012 | TACOMA, Washington

 Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) parents have a new online quick and convenient method, MEAL APP NOW, to apply for free and reduced school meals for their children via the Internet.
MEAL APP NOW eliminates losing forms, and the school district will have immediate access to completed applications for prompt processing. It is safe and secure, available online 24/7 and allows the fastest response to an application.
Access MEAL APP NOW by clicking this link: You can read additional information and instructions on the Web site. If you do not have access to a computer or need assistance, you can come to the Nutrition Services Office, 3321 S. Union Ave., or call 253-571-3370.
The Nutrition Services staff is confident that you will find MEAL APP NOW an efficient and convenient service. If you prefer a paper application, you can get one at all school locations and the Nutrition Services Office.  Please allow up to 10 working days for the district to determine your eligibility when you submit a paper application.
You must reapply each school year online or submit a paper application unless you receive a letter notifying you that Department of Social Health Services (DSHS) has approved your children for free school meals for the 2012-2013 school year. If some of your children were not listed in that letter, they may also be eligible for free school meals by contacting the Nutrition Services Office.
Submit only one current school year application, online or paper, per household by Oct. 1, even if your children attend different TPS schools, including foster children. If your children received free or reduced-price meals last year, they will retain that status until Oct. 15. If you do not have a new application approved by Oct. 15, your children will be charged full price for meals starting the next school day.
Children not on the free or reduced-price meal program last year will be charge the full price until their application is processed. Lunch charges incurred during the processing time will still be owed—a change to the free or reduced-price program is not retroactive.
Elementary and middle school students are eligible to charge meals up to a set monetary limit. The point-of-sales computer system will let the cashier know when that limit has been exceeded. Once a student has reached the maximum allowed meal charges, the student must pay with cash, check or credit/debit card online through Lunch Money Now or receive an emergency meal of a peanut butter or cheese sandwich and white milk. High school students cannot charge meals.
Because of state-legislated funding, students in kindergarten through third grade who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive lunch at no cost. Students at all grade levels who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive breakfast at no cost.